Securing a win at The Open on Sunday was just the latest highlight in American golfer Collin Morikawa’s impressive and unrelenting rise to the top of the golf world.
It was also a historic win, especially considering Morikawa’s young age—and the fact that it was his first time at the British Open.
His pro career, which only began in 2019, has already been wildly impressive.
But Morikawa’s win at The Open underlined the fact that his previous success has been no fluke.
This Californian golfer is on a hot streak, and the golf world is excited to see what he’ll do next.
Off to a strong start
At just 24, Morikawa has seen few setbacks throughout his professional career. Since his debut at the 2019 RBC Canadian Open, where he tied for 14th place, he has steadily climbed in the rankings.
In fact, less than a month after he competed in the RBC, he finished second in the 3M Open.
By the time he reached the Barracuda Championship, he secured his first PGA Tour win.
It was only his sixth tournament as a professional.
Since then, Morikawa has continued to make his mark in some of the biggest golf tournaments.
Morikawa’s first major championship win
While Morikawa had made impressive showings at a number of events, the golf world really started to take notice after his win at the PGA Championship last year.
The setting was an eerie one, with no spectators in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was only Morikawa’s second major appearance ever, and his PGA Championship debut.
There was a tight race for the lead in the final round, but a birdie on the 14th and an eagle the 16th put Morikawa ahead of the pack.
He went on to win, setting a new PGA Championship scoring record in the process (129 strokes for the final 36 holes).
The win also made him only the fourth player since World War II to win PGA Championship before the age of 24.
Considering his company in that category—Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy—it’s safe to say that Morikawa had officially achieved star status.
Edging out Jordan Spieth for a historic win
In the final round of the The Open on Sunday, Morikawa joined South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen, Spanish golfer Jon Rahm, and fellow American Jordan Spieth in the battle for the top spot on the leaderboard.
After Oosthuizen struggled with bunkers on the seventh hole and Rahm missed a few long putts, the race began to tighten between Spieth and Morikawa.
But when Spieth recorded a bogey on the last two holes, Morikawa was able to pull ahead and win The Open championship by two strokes.
Several key moments helped Morikawa to take and keep the lead while also showcasing his calm demeanor under pressure.
On the 10th and 15th holes, he made impressive par saves; on the 14th, his birdie putt across the green put him ahead by two strokes.
A long drive down the fairway on the final hole set him up for a strong finish on a tough course.
His bogey-free, 4-under 66 performance at Royal St. George’s marked another historic achievement for Morikawa, who became the first player ever to win two majors in his first attempts.
It also made Morikawa the winner of two major titles in just eight starts—the fastest since WWII.
To put that in perspective, Open runner-up it took Spieth 10 starts to win two different majors, and Tiger Woods needed 18 attempts to win two.
To make his win even more impressive, Morikawa finished 15-under 265 at England’s Royal St. George’s Golf Club, which is the lowest score in the 15 times the British Open has been held there.
In addition to taking home the coveted Claret Jug, Morikawa also secured a prize of $2.07 million, the largest in Open Championship history.
Two down, two to go
What’s next for Collin Morikawa?
In just 49 PGA Tour events as a pro, he’s already racked up five wins.
There are plenty of other championships coming up, but no doubt Morikawa has two important ones on his mind.
After becoming the 2020 PGA Championship winner followed by the 2021 Open Champion, there are two other majors this 24-year-old has yet to tackle.
In 2022, Morikawa will get his chance at the Masters Tournament in April, followed by the U.S. Open in June.
But first, he has the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to contend with.
Before winning The Open, Morikawa had already secured a spot on Team USA.
With his Olympic debut next week, golf fans will be watching to see if he can add gold medal winner to his list of accomplishments.